Convened by the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, driven by a Creative Team of volunteers, the Think/Action Lab elevates and integrates diverse, everyday expert voices into Foundation decision-making around experimental funding to creatively engage individuals who seek meaningful Jewish connection and have not yet found a compelling way to plug in.

Why is this a priority of the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati (TJF)?

The 2019 Cincinnati Jewish Community Study highlights the ~half of Jewish adults who seek more connection to Jewish community and infrequently use institutions, many of whom experience barriers.

Understanding the responsibility to serve the full community, TJF seeks to complement its investments in strengthening institutions and the constituents they serve by also serving individuals who seek greater connection to Jewish community.

TJF has recruited a Creative Team of volunteers to explore the data, surface ideas about key challenges and outcomes, design the criteria/RFP to guide experimental funding and coaching, review proposals for funding, and make recommendations for TJF trustee approval. Giving space for this group to lead will strengthen the Foundation’s effectiveness.

Who are the segments of focus and what is this work driving towards?

End-users: The RFP will catalyze creative approaches to engaging individuals who seek meaningful Jewish connection and have not yet found a compelling way to plug in. These approaches will build broader connections to Jewish Community in a way that is inclusive of our diversity and addresses barriers that get in the way for 3 segments: Families with children 0-5, Interfaith families with children and Young adults without children.

Recipients of TAL funding/coaching will be supported to experiment and fail forward.

How was the Creative Team selected? Who is on the Team?

A set of criteria was developed to define the Creative Team; through word of mouth, individuals were invited to apply. This intentionally small team brings a diversity of professional expertise, life experience, involvement in Jewish life and demographics. The majority of the team identifies as or works directly with the target segments.

Qualities of the Team:

  • Abundance Mindset
  • Creative Problem-Solver
  • Able to Imagine Opportunities
  • Adaptive to Change
  • Ecosystem-Level Thinker
  • Able to Set Aside “Hats”
  • Embracing of Diverse Voices
  • Humility + Empathy

Creative Team:

  • Brett Bonfield
  • Rabbi Dave Burstein
  • Brad Coppel
  • Laura Katz
  • Barb Miller
  • Megan Miller
  • Cassie Saddlemire
  • Aaron Shield
  • Kayla Soroka
  • Katie Vogel


  • Kim Newstadt
  • Arna Poupko Fisher
  • Allison JoAnn Lester
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